Best walks in the Brecon Beacons national park

The Brecon Beacons in Wales is one of the finest national parks in the UK and provides some of the best walks suitable for a short or long trip. It includes six main peaks and they share the same geology and features such as lakes, rivers, waterfalls and valleys. Reputable for its physical beauty the Brecon Beacons is a very popular destination amongst the hikers. Hiking is a great adventure and in this article you will find the resources you need to plan your route ahead. Prepare your backpack, load your maps and get ready for a great experience. Either you go for one day trip or a holiday the Brecon Beacons is a great place to make unforgettable memories.

We analysed the top five hiking trails and categorised them by difficulty level, distance and length so you can schedule your walk in advance. If you need a Brecon Beacons map don’t forget to print one of our trails or use the Komoot app to navigate. The national park is located in South East Wales and it can be reached easily by car from the M74. You can find more details in the official website if you want to access it by train or bus.

Very important tips

Brecon national park is usually very busy and car parks are full from early in the morning. If you have to leave your car at the side of the road you need to make sure that all of the tyres do not touch the asphalt. Even if one of the tyres is on the road you can get a ticket which is not the best end to a great day in nature. Also before you decide which route you want to follow remember to check the Brecon Beacons website because sometimes the paths are closed due to maintenance work.

Pen y fan waterfalls hike

The trail begins in the village of Pontneddfechan and it’s probably one of the most scenic routes in Wales. It consists of four waterfalls and a cave system which blends in nicely with the scenery. You will be able to walk behind one of the waterfalls but make sure you wear waterproof clothes and shoes because after heavy rain the current is really strong. Also you should be very careful walking on the rocks because they might be very slippery.

The only downside is that if you access it from the north you will need to climb 170 steep steps. Take your time and wear the appropriate gear depending on the time of year you visit. A great day out with the family where you can enjoy one of the best walks in Brecon Beacons.

This path includes Pen y Fan which is the highest peak in the southern UK at 886m. The starting point of this trail is Forestry Commission Pont ar Daf car park where you can find the easiest route up Pen y fan. Furthermore remember to check the information board which shows the trail map. Like any other mountain you should expect a steep uphill but the view from the top will absolutely reward you for your effort. Unfortunately the visibility from the top depends on the weather but when it’s clear you can see the full valley.

This route is suitable for beginners and always remember to bring an extra layer because even in the summer the temperature is quite low at the top especially on a cloudy day.

Alternative route to Pen y fan waterfalls

During this walk you will reach the peak of Fan Brycheiniog also known as The Black Mountain. It should not be confused with the black mountains Wales which are a range of hills to the east part of Brecon Beacons. The peak of this mountain is one of the highest in Wales and rises more than 800m above sea level so there is not an easy way to reach this summit. After you reach the top of the first mountain the trail continues to Fan Foel which rises 781m above sea level. At the top the views are wonderful reaching up to the Bristol Channel. If you want to avoid the crowd you can approach the summit from Talybont Reservoir which is a quieter but steeper route to the top. There is also a car park before you reach the reservoir. Alternatively you can approach it from Bryn. 

Black mountain route

The landscape in this area is very unique and beautiful because of its glacial past. The features of this walk are slightly different from the rest of the hikes. Instead of meeting ponies and sheep you will find a great variety of flora. The morphology of the land is not very friendly to sheep because it’s very steep. As a result, flowers can grow freely and design a nice variety of colours.

You can access the trail from a lay by on the A740 where you can find the information board. It is worth while reading to find out more about some of the unique birds you will meet during your walk. Redstart, Peregrine and cuckoo are some to name a few.

Picturesque route of Craig old glasier

It’s definitely one of the toughest Brecon Beacons walks. At the beginning of the walk you will have to climb a very steep hill which requires a very good level of fitness. However as soon as you get to the top of the hill it levels out and you can enjoy the rest of the walk with ease. Moreover at the start of the trail you will see the ruins of a once great priory that dates back to 1100. It is a grade I listed building and you can visit it for free. The car park is also next to the ruins. After the hike you can sit at the local cafe and have a drink while you enjoy the amazing views. This area is also famous for its wild ponies and colourful butterflies.

Things to do in the Brecon Beacons

Apart from hiking there is other activities you can enjoy in the area:

  • Fly fishing on Cray Reservoir: Obtain a day permit ticket from Cnewr House and enjoy a day fishing in Cray valley.
  • Visit Carreg Cennen Castle: Located at the edge of the Brecon Beacons national park is easily accessible by car. After a tour you can enjoy a hot drink at the cafe located next to the car park.
  • Visit Bit Pit coal mining museum: Discover the mining history of the area by visiting the local museum.  Follow a true miner inside the tunnels which reach 100m underground.

Don’t forget to always remember to check the weather forecast before you prepare for any kind of exercise.

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